Core Exercises After Back Surgery

back surgery

Back surgery can be a downer when it comes to your emotions. I know this because I’ve been through this phase before, and it can be so annoying. I got tired of everything; most especially resting, I had to feel active again. I know some of us might feel this way after spinal fusion and start to wonder what are the best safe core exercises to practice without having to go to the gym after a long time of pain and recovery.

No matter how you feel, all you have to know is that you’re not alone. A recent study shows that 80% of adults suffer from lower back pain. I can say, among four adults, one has suffered from back pain in the last three months. And most of them look up to surgery to fix the pain.

Back surgery

If you don’t want to go through surgery to fix these pains, there are some workout routines you can practice to help you.

Note: Before starting the workout routine, make sure you’ve met with your surgeon or physician to know if it’s safe as this can cause damage to your back if you’re not ready.

When can I start exercising after back surgery?

Some surgeries may make you wait for six months before you can start exercising again, but it all comes down to the kind of operation you have. As long as it’s okay with you and your medical team, you’re free to resume working out. If you want to take advantage of your surgery, I recommend strengthing your back some safe ab exercises after spinal fusion.

Here’s an important thing you should note, don’t start your workouts with heavy routines, instead take it slow. Also, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Council on Exercise has recommended you start slow in this same way.

First Phase: Stability

It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete, or sometimes worked out before your surgery. Start with a few necessary core exercises (the basic ones). If you feel any pain while doing these exercises, slowly move out of the position and rest. You should avoid injuring yourself.

First Move: Ankle Pumps

  1. Lay flat on your back.
  2. Next, move your ankles so your toes will be in front of you.
  3. Now, flex the ankles to remove the ankles fro your front.

Second Move: Heel Slides

  1. Lay flat on your back.
  2. Next, bend a knee to make the sole reach the ground.
  3. Now, straighten the knee.
  4. Do the same thing on the other side.

Third Move: Hip Bridges

  1. Lie flat with your back. Your hands should be palm-down on the ground next to you.
  2. The sole of your fit should be flat on the ground, about hip-width apart.
  3. Raise your feet in the air with your shoulder blades and feet remaining in place.
  4. Now, stay in this position for about 20-30 seconds.
  5. Then, slowly remove yourself from this position and lay flat again.

Second Phase: Strengthen with Movement

When you notice you’re comfortable with some of the stability exercises, you can try something new. Like some strengthening core exercises for after a spinal fusion.

First Move: Stability Ball Pelvic Tilt

  1. Get a stability ball and sit on it with your knees bent at 90 degrees while your feet are flat on the ground.
  2. Now, put your hands on your hips bones.
  3. Gradually slide your core muscles so your pelvis will tilt forward.
  4. Slowly retract the pelvis; this will create a subtle arch in the lower back.
  5. Repeat the third and fourth steps for one minute.

Second Move: Bird Dog

  1. Get down on your knees beneath your hips with your hands beneath your shoulders.
  2. Now, stretch your left foot with the toes pointed downward.
  3. Do the same thing with your right arm with palms facing in and thumb pointing to the sky.
  4. Remain in this position, unless your lower back starts paining you.
  5. Pull in your left knee and right elbow, so they meet near your naval.
  6. Do the same thing on the other side.

How much walking should you do after back surgery?


The best form of exercise to do during your first week of surgery is walking. Although, you should start slow; You can start by walking for 30 minutes at least twice a day.

What can you not do after back surgery?

Try as much as possible to avoid activities that require you to bend, twist, push/pull things, and lift things that are more than 5 pounds, for instance, one gallon of milk. Also, void standing and sitting for long hours. In case you had a spinal fusion, don’t lift things above your head until the fusion is all healed up.

How should you sleep after back surgery?

woman sleeping

The best ways to sleep after back surgery is:

  • To lie either on your back with your knees bent and a pillow under your knees.
  • Lie on your side, bending your knees with a pillow between your legs.

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